Since 1998, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation has been dedicated to helping women and children seeking safety due to domestic violence. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Royal LePage professionals once again gave generously of their time and resources, raising over $125,000 for the foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.
While this crisis has affected us all, women and children experiencing abuse face unique challenges. When Royal LePage Shelter Foundation supporters learned that the severity of domestic violence was increasing, that many shelters needed to rent additional space to meet social distancing guidelines, and that children staying in shelters needed supplies and support to keep up with their classmates, they jumped into action.
Online fundraising challenges, “virtual” events and social media campaigns have taken place across Canada, with Royal LePage professionals hosting and performing live concerts; cutting their own hair and shaving their beards; organizing online game nights and fitness classes; selling gifts, small luxuries and masks; and partnering with local businesses to provide unique offerings – all in exchange for donations to the cause.
Numerous collections were also taken up by Royal LePage brokerages and agents, with some promoting matching gift opportunities to their clients which doubled the impact of their generosity. When Royal LePage’s National Garage Sale for Shelter was unable to proceed for the first time in twelve years, their agents and brokers answered the call to make modest “Garage Sale sized” donations in order to help replace this lost revenue. In addition, Royal LePagers organized donations of essential supplies to their local women’s shelters, including toilet paper, hand sanitizer and cloth masks.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic began, it was heart-warming to hear from so many of our supporters asking what they could do for their local women’s shelters,” said Royal LePage Shelter Foundation executive director, Shanan Spencer-Brown. “Always thinking of how they can help others and serve their communities, our supporters have once again shown us how committed they are to making sure home is a safe place for everyone.”